How have nations and nationhood become the dominant form of political organization today? What is the role of culture in nationalism? In what ways have the ideological development of nationalisms in the post-colonial world shaped understandings of contemporary political problems such as the rise of radical Islam, communalism, and the failure of secular-liberal democracy? This book offers the first comparative study of two highly significant anti-colonial nationalisms. Its close analysis of nationalist discourse in India and Egypt is situated within a new theoretical framework for studying nationalism, based on a trenchant critique of theorists such as Benedict Anderson, Ernest Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm and Anthony Smith.
'This is an important book. Mondal's admirably thorough expositions of the particular characteristics of India and Egypt's national imaginaries offer a significant contribution to the existing literature on both countries.' - Interventions
Introduction 1. Nationalism as Cultural Politics 2. The Prehistory of Gandhian Nationalism 3. A Tragedy of Idealism: Utopianism and the Imagined Community of Gandhi's Hind Swaraj 4. The Making and Unmaking of Gandhian Ideology: Raja Rao's Kanthapura 5. An Anatomy of Egyptian Secular-Liberal Nationalism 6. Tawfiq al-Hakim and the Dark Side of Egyptian Secular-Liberal Nationalist Discourse 7. Naguib Mahfouz, National Allegory and Neopatriarchy: The Cairo Trilogy 8. Reflections on Nationalism, Culture and Ideology In India and Egypt